downsizing

adventures, Uncategorized

’tis the season to be getting


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“what do you want for Christmas?”

nothing.

 

nothing? Yep, there is nothing I want… how strange.

 

But alas it takes no more than a quick visit to the mall or peruse through the Christmas mailers to fill my head with wants, ’tis the season to be giving getting after all.

Their is not much giving anymore.

If we’re not getting for ourselves we’re getting for others so that we may in return get. Or sometimes it’s a simpler transaction, just an exchange of cash, “go buy what you want”.

 

We give poorly, my mum is in Cambodia on a short missions trip with her school, so much of what was donated was junk, easier to donate than take it to the dump.

Even in our charity we keep the best for ourselves

So it’s on this rainy summers day I find myself with the time to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while, to help resist that consumerist-christmas urge, to downsize, to give.

 

 

WP_000742I pulled out all the clothes I hadn’t worn in the last couple of weeks and proceeded to sort & bag most.

Aware that we often give our leftovers, unwanted & junk, I chose to show no bias to those sentimental favorites…

I said sad goodbyes to C-web & MJ college jerseys, football favorites and items put aside deemed too special to wear.

 

 

Sometime after 25 T’s, 15 tops/jeans, jerseys, shorts, shoes and hats… I lost count. My goal was to give away 75%, I think I came close to that.

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17  bags later & it was off to various clothing bins & stores.

I didn’t do this to earn brownie-points with God or because I believe in some sort of cosmic karma, to earn kudos from friends or show you what a good person I am…

it’s the opposite, I’m not.

It’s because I so easily give in to the impulsive buy, the want it-need it-latest greatest and must have. This is my way of trying to resist that.

It’s because I believe in a God that has given so we may give… not so I can continue to get.

This is my confession, while others have suffered without, I have lived in abundance.

What I want for Christmas…

                                                        is to give.

 

 

 

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adventures, Uncategorized

downsize me!


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You need this, you want this… ooh look at that! What you’ve got isn’t good enough, it’s time to upgrade… to up-size.

 

Lately I’ve been looking for a new car, it’s been a battle. I did have a rough amount I was prepared to spend on a car, then I’d see something I’d like that cost a little more & little more , and soon I was contemplating a loan to get something really nice…

I think I’d go through the same process whether I had 6k or 40k to spend… ooh that Chrysler is just a few grand out of my imaginary-budgeted-40k reach, maybe if I took a small loan…

Instead the challenge for me is to downsize, so I’ve halved my car budget. As long as I can fit in it & it gets me from ‘a-to-b’ I’ll be happy…

 

You see a couple of months a the Government started to review the role my workplace has in their future education plans, and while nothing is set in stone there is a very high chance I wont be in the same job next year. The general reaction from work colleagues has been to cut back on the coffees, put that overseas holiday on hold, knuckle down & save, because chances are none of us are walking into new jobs near the same pay.

I’ve even been taken aside and given that sagely bit of wisdom, you know, about being a good steward & saving in the years of plenty. I could justify that and I’m sure no one would hold it against me, after all my job is under threat & shouldn’t I be saving for a house…

 

But what if being a good steward looks different. What if it’s not about me accumulating my own little empire…

because as I read through the bible the theme seems to emerge that we are blessed to be a blessing, that what we are given isn’t for our benefit but to benefit others, that it’s not for building my kingdom… but another.

Maybe being a good steward isn’t looking at my work situation and saying, “I need to save & hoard because I won’t be making that money next year”, maybe there is another way of looking at it…

 

I may never be in a position to bless others again like I am right now.

 

Wouldn’t it be a shame to waste that opportunity by accumulating for myself. What would it look like if I downsized more than just my phone & car budget… if I downsized my life, if I intentionally put aside part of my income to bless others, if I really stretched myself… say 30-40%, that’d be a challenge, it may even break me, it’s sure to shape me.

So that is my challenge for the rest of the year, I’m interested in how tough this will be, how it may change how I view money and “need”, what small good I might achieve and who I may encounter…  the dream chaser & random stranger.

There is only so much I can hope to achieve in this lifetime & my sphere of influence may be small, but a downsized life enables me to share in what others do too.

Blessed to be a blessing.

 

 

This has been another post in my ongoing journey of discovering of what it looks like to follow Jesus in today’s world and loving people more than money.

 

 

adventures, News, Uncategorized

iPhone challenge – update


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A long-awaited update 🙂

I love hearing & reading stories of how others are living & breathing the gospel in unique, challenging & creative ways, I struggle sometimes to talk about what this looks like in my life.  Partly it’s because  I know my own heart & what’s really there, or maybe it’s self-consciousness, false modesty, fear of failure or my own ego… I’m not entirely sure.  I do know that this isn’t meant to be about me, you won’t see the launch of  “*insert name-Ministries” here… you won’t even find my name.

It’s been a while since my iPhone challenge. I was able to in a tiny way help some chase their dreams and some random strangers, the highlight for me was breakfast with a homeless man. While I’m sure a feed and conversation did more for me than him and won’t alter his long-term prospects, it has to be better than turning a blind eye.

What I learnt most was this, if I consciously put aside some money with the goal of blessing/helping someone then it’s pretty much impossible for me not to be looking for opportunities to do so.

Eventually my phone did die and I did eventually go the smart phone route, I opted for an older model windows phone on clearance, fraction of the price, no plan. I guess looking back, this was my first intentional downsize.